Women's ministries leadership is returned to women

Beverly Maega, former women's ministries director for Solomon Islands Mission, is reinstated two years later, and the first event for single women in the South Pacific Division is held in Honiara.

South Pacific Division (SPD)

[Solomon Islands] Single women and young girls were targeted for a weekend of women’s ministries (WM) programs in Honiara, the Solomon Islands. About 80 single women attended meetings Friday night, and the number swelled over 100 for Sabbath meetings. About 100 teenage girls, ages 13-19, attended the Sunday activities.

Single Women

The event for single women was a first for the South Pacific Division (SPD). And it was a success! Erna Johnson, past director of SPD WM, carefully chose the seminars and began the weekend by presenting, “One is a Whole Number,” a seminar written by Ardis Stenbakken, past director for the worldwide Adventist women's ministries. Johnson also presented “I Am Unique,” a self-esteem workshop that she has used for 18 years and testifies to its proven track record of making a huge difference in the lives of participants.

Other speakers included Beverly Maega, women's ministries director for Solomon Islands Mission, and Danijela Schubert, SPD WM director, who began and ended the Sabbath services by presenting the messages, “A Fulfilled Woman” and “A Focused Woman,” from The Best You Can Be. Additional seminars included the spiritual gifts workshop from leadership training, and Back to Basics, a seminar about personal devotional time and prayer.

Most of the single women who are single are from the Honiara region, although a few teachers came from the outer islands. As is always done in the islands, some of the ladies made thank-you speeches after the program ended Saturday night stating how blessed they were from the programming of just one evening and one day because of the atmosphere of what Johnson summarized as being “able to bless, uplift, empower and encourage” young women.

Maega has been working with a prominent woman from another denomination on our shared issue of domestic violence. This woman attended as guest and was impressed with what is being done for the young women and teenage girls of the Solomon Islands.

Young Girls

The event for young girls took them through the program Real Me which has five sessions. Schubert and Maega each presented one session. As is her custom before a Real Me series, Johnson worked ahead of time with women who volunteered for counselors at the table groups of young girls. The counselors encouraged the girls throughout the day and prayed with them at the end of each session. The brief but necessary training of the volunteers helped them make a significant impact on the teenagers.

Mission Leadership

Dr. Silent, the new Solomon Islands Mission (SIM) president, believes in the work that women are doing and has been instrumental in reinstating Maega as women's ministries director in the mission following a two-year lapse without a woman in charge of women’s ministries in this mission. In a meeting with Dr. Silent, whom Johnson calls a “visionary,” Johnson shared some of the comments heard at the end of the program, and also for other programs she has presented. Some comments were from fathers of the young girls attending—and a handful of the fathers were also SIM administrators. Johnson explained how integral the Real Me series is in the South Pacific Division in general, but particularly in the island societies. Dr. Silent and his administration encouraged Maega to take the Real Me series with her and continue presenting it when traveling around the mission.

Johnson praises God for the leadership of Dr. Silent and for the strong women’s ministries team in SIM. Johnson challenges the worldwide WM leaders to use the Real Me series in their own divisions and territories to discover how beneficial it is for our teenage girls.

Contributed by Erna K. Johnson, past director for women's ministries for South Pacific Division

Published in Mosaic 2018 Q4, Fall issue

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